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Most Australians can now legally choose if they are a ‘boy’ when they were born a ‘girl’

Under the new law, transgender and gender diverse people will now have the freedom to have their legal documents reflect the sex they identify with socially even prior to undergoing gender affirmation surgery.

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Photo by Sean Colclough from Unsplash.com

Victoria became the fifth state in Australia to allow transgender and gender diverse people to change their sex on their birth certificate. This development came after the birth certificate bill passed 26-14 in the Victorian Upper House; meaning it will officially become law once it receives the royal assent, a formality.

Under the new law, transgender and gender diverse people will now have the freedom to have their legal documents reflect the sex they identify with socially even prior to undergoing gender affirmation surgery.

Victoria joined Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in passing such a mandate.
Photo by Joey Csunyo from Unsplash.com

For minors, the bill allows them to be able to self-nominate to change their gender or select a non-binary descriptor of their choice with permission from their parents. A statement from a psychologist or a doctor will also be needed to accompany the submission for a minor.

With this progressive law, Victoria joined Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in passing such a mandate.

Travel

New York City to repeal ‘conversion therapy’ ban to safeguard broader LGBTQIA protections

So-called “conversion therapy” is the term most often attributed to practices which seek to change, suppress, or divert the sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of people who do not fit the presumed norm of cis-gender heterosexuality. This is widely recognized – including by the World Psychiatric Association – to be based on junk science, and cause deep and lasting trauma on those upon whom it is inflicted.

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Photo by Luca Bravo from Unsplash.com

Backing out in the fight against hate as a step to hinder hate.

In New York City in the US, council speaker Corey Johnson introduced a bill which would see the city’s ban on so-called “conversion therapy” lifted. This seems like a bad move, but it is seen as a needed effort to – ironically – safeguard protections for the human rights of LGBTQIA people by avoiding a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ban reaching the Supreme Court and setting a nation-wide precedent for “conversion therapy”.

So-called “conversion therapy” is the term most often attributed to practices which seek to change, suppress, or divert the sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of people who do not fit the presumed norm of cis-gender heterosexuality. Also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, gay cure therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities. These practices are widely recognized – including by the World Psychiatric Association – to be based on junk science, and cause deep and lasting trauma on those upon whom they are inflicted.  

In the US, 18 states ban “conversion therapy” on minors, including New York state. The city’s ban preceded the state ban and is among the most comprehensive bans in the country, as it applies to “any individual” offering any form of “conversion therapy”, not just licensed health professionals, and bans such practices on all people, not just on minors.

The constitutionality of the comprehensive city ban was challenged through a lawsuit filed in January 2019 by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, using pseudo-human rights language to argue that adults have a right to such “therapy”. Lifting the ban is a move to avoid the lawsuit reaching the conservative Supreme Court and setting a precedent allowing the harmful practices to continue. 

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Maria Sjodin, deputy director of OutRight Action International, said that “ADF’s challenge and the necessary move to repeal the ban on conversion therapy in New York City is symptomatic of the growing attack on human rights, and the human rights of LGBTQIA people in particular, that has soared in the US under the current administration. Initiatives such as the Commission for Unalienable Rights, and broad attacks on gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights, have emboldened groups such as the ADF to be more visible, and ramp up their attacks on the human rights of LGTBQIA people and women.”

Sjodin added that “proponents of so-called conversion therapy have begun using human rights language to support their efforts, claiming that those who want such services have the right to them. But make no mistake – this is not an effort to safeguard freedom of speech, or the right of LGBTQIA people to seek mental health support, but rather an effort to make more people conform to outdated perceptions of cis-gender heterosexuality as the only acceptable norm.”

The report “Harmful Treatment: The Global Reach of So-Called Conversion Therapy” issued by OutRight Action International last month found that so-called “conversion therapy” practices are prevalent across the world. Total bans on such practices exist only in four countries (Ecuador, Brazil, Taiwan, and Malta), with a further ten, including the US, having partial or policy bans in place. 

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“The existence and prevalence of ‘conversion therapy’ is directly related to just how deeply unaccepted and feared LGBTIQ people are in many societies around the world. These practices hinge on the belief that cis-gender heterosexuality is the only accepted norm, and gender identities beyond the one assigned at birth and same-sex attraction are an anomaly, a sickness, and something to be ‘reoriented’, changed or ‘cured’, if need be by brutal, inhuman force. It is shocking that over forty-five years after the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Manual of Mental Disorders, and over 20 years after it first condemned ‘conversion therapy’, there are forces fighting for these harmful practices in the US,” Sjodin ended.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Tips to save money on airline tickets

Airfare and lodging cost escalates the air travel expenditure, but don’t fret. In this article, you will get to know the best five ways by considering which you can save money and make your air travel a hilarious experience.

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Ready to board or to plan the destination for your next holiday travel but wondering about your traveling budget?

I know airfare and lodging cost escalates the air travel expenditure, but don’t fret. In this article, you will get to know the best five ways by considering which you can save money and make your air travel a hilarious experience. 

Well! Frugal flight booking is indeed overwhelming, but repeated searching will help you book the cheapest possible flights to the right destination and at the right time.

It’s been well said:

All You Need to Know Is That It’s Possible.”
– Wolf, a Trail Hiker

If you know how you can find cheap flights and travel by spending a minimum cost, then you will never be the person who paid the most for booking their air tickets. Once, I was travelling from San Francisco to Shanghai, I paid $1,500, and the person sitting next to me paid only $500 for the same journey. I was shocked and thought to myself, how in the name of Jesus is it possible? I think, if you ever get stuck in such a situation, you also might feel the same? 

Not a problem anymore. Scroll down to know how the person sitting next to me got his ticket booked at just one-third of the price I paid for the same ticket. 

Now, let’s take a rundown on the best ways (which, by the way, he told me) to save money on flights or Airfare.

5 Tips to Save Money on Airline Tickets

Let’s get started!

#1 – Compare the flights before booking

The very thing he told me to keep in mind is that, If you are a frequent flier, then you might be using some flight searching engines for searching the flights that provide the best services at a minimum cost. 

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But, if you are a newbie, then firstly you must make the flight comparison based on their cost and services offered. Use the best flight search engine, and you may use incognito mode on Google Chrome to research the flights. 

He also told me that the airlines would show the highest ticket price if you search as a one-person. So don’t search for multiple ticket price in a single purchase. Continue doing research and figure the best price for your air travel. 

#2 – Booking tickets in advance, but not too early

Another tactic he asked me to pursue to save money while traveling by air is booking the tickets early. But, he also asked me to pursue this tactic if only I have fixed plans because ticket cancellation can cost double the actual amount. 

So, he recommended me to book air tickets 45 to 90 days before the departure. And so do I recommend it to you. 

Booking air tickets 45 to 90 days before the departure is the perfect timing because reserving too early or too late can lock one to pay high prices for the air ticket. Say, if you are planning to travel with AA, then one can book their American airlines tickets by visiting Faremart some days in advance as it offers excellent services, 24*7 support, 450+ airlines at affordable prices.   

Moreover, if you don’t have any specific dates or urgent plans, then try to book off-season or shoulder season flights like in May, June, October or November because, in these days, flights get cheaper as well as the weather will be milder. 

#3 – Keep an eye on last-minute deals

One of another vital point he asked me to keep in check to find the cheap flight is, staying updated because cheap flights are available for 24 hours. If you miss the chance, then you would not be able to fly at a low cost. 

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It usually happens when people cancel their plans at the last minute, or flight gets unfilled. Under such a situation, airlines reduce their business class ticket price at the last hour, and sometimes they also offer free ticketing services or update frequent flier bonus, best deals for couples traveling together, etc. 

Now, you might be thinking, how to get the updates or last-minute changes? You can download flight tracking applications in your mobile phone to get the updates like updated deals, flight departure date, flight arrival time, etc. The pop-up messages displayed on your mobile phones will help you to get the information and grab the best opportunity to save on air tickets.  

#4 – Prefer online booking and use credit card points

He asked me if I book my tickets online using a credit card, to which I answered yes!

He then told me that if I book my airline tickets via credit cards or debit cards, then I might have an opportunity to save some bucks as credit and debit card users often get discounts on various deals. 

The cheapest flight one can book is flying without paying a single penny. The easiest way to do this is to sign up for an airline reward card and earn the points to travel for free. You can easily make up to 60,000 bonus points and save your cash on booking air tickets. 

Since I got to know about this trick, whenever I plan to travel, I always prefer using the card on every purchase due to security purposes and to avail additional offers that one gets on making an online transaction. 

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Once, I planned a holiday trip with my family to New Zealand, I had 750 points in my card and travelled comfortably without paying a single rupee. Thus, I recommend you to save up miles by using your card points and plan your holiday trip every year without thinking about traveling expenditure cost. 

#5 – Don’t fly direct; consider flying slightly farther away

He asked me if I travel for the sake of enjoyment and then said that If you don’t have any urgent plans, then you can definitely save some money from your entire travel budget. 

Whenever you plan to travel on flights with flexible timings and date, then consider flying out of an airport which is slightly farther away from your actual destination. Whenever I come back to my home, I prefer flying out of a different airport than my hometown as it costs me less. 

If you travel by taking indirect flight, then be sure you have three hours between booking air tickets on different airlines to handle the situation, if something goes wrong. Thus, this tactic will also help you in saving some amount while booking airline tickets.

In a Crux

Booking the best airlines in less amount is really a challenging task. But if you do proper research and implement the above-discussed strategies, then you can quickly achieve the goals and can save money on things like flights, food, hotels, travel, etc. 

Therefore, if you want to be the person who saves the most on a flight, then follow the above tips to get a deal. To know more about saving money on airline fee, one can read the best ways to avoid airline fees.

Don’t thank me, thank the man who taught me these fantastic tips.

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Travel

Ranking the best (and yes, worst) countries to be LGBT in Europe

Malta, Belgium and Luxembourg came at at the top of the list of 49 nations ranked based on legal and policy practices for LGBTI people. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia are the worst countries in Europe for LGBTI rights.

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Photo by Zoltan Tasi from Unsplash.com

Identifying as part of the LGBTQIA community, and considering heading to Europe? It may be worth considering the best – and yes, worst – European countries for those who live under the rainbow.

Malta, Belgium and Luxembourg came at at the top of the list of 49 nations ranked based on legal and policy practices for LGBTI people, according to a new assessment from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia are the worst countries in Europe for LGBTI rights.

With each nation receiving a score from 0-100%, Malta received 90% and Azerbaijan just 3%. These rankings are used to put together the “2019 Rainbow Europe Map”, a campaign from ILGA-Europe that looked at 69 key factors in every country in Europe, including equality and non-discrimination; family; hate crime and hate speech; legal gender recognition and bodily integrity; civil society space; and asylum.

The Top 10 most LGBT-friendly countries in Europe (2019):

  1. Malta
  2. Belgium
  3. Luxembourg
  4. Finland
  5. Denmark
  6. Norway
  7. Portugal
  8. France
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Sweden

The Top 10 least LGBT-friendly countries in Europe(2019):

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Turkey
  3. Armenia
  4. Russia
  5. Monaco
  6. San Marino
  7. Belarus
  8. Liechtenstein
  9. Moldova
  10. Latvia

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Travel

An exhibit tracing the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings

Various cities in the US will host “Art after Stonewall, 1969─1989”, a major exhibition of more than 200 tracing the (largely Western) history of the LGBTQIA movement’s development.

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Composite art of Diana Davies’ “Marsha P. Johnson Hands Out Flyers for Support of Gay Students at N.Y.U.” (c. 1970)

As LGBTQIA communities all over the world honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings, various cities in the US will host Art after Stonewall, 19691989, a major exhibition of more than 200 tracing the (largely Western) history of the LGBTQIA movement’s development.

This exhibition is currently on view in New York, at two venues in Manhattan: at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery (until July 20), and at the Leslie-Lohman Museum (until July 21). Then the exhibition travels to Miami for Art Basel season, at the Frost Art Museum FIU (Sept. 14, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020). The show will then travel to the Columbus Museum of Art (March 6 – May 31, 2020).

Diana Davies, Untitled (Marsha P. Johnson Hands Out Flyers for Support of Gay Students at N.Y.U.), c. 1970. Digital print. Photo by Diana Davies / © The New York Public Library/Art Resource, NY

The Miami presentation, opening on September 14, will be the first time that all of the works in this show will be exhibited together under one roof: all of the photographs, paintings, sculpture, film clips, video, music, and performance pieces, plus historical documents and images taken from magazines, newspapers and television (the current New York showing of Art After Stonewall is split up between two venues). 

The show will headline Miami’s Art Basel in December: when the global spotlight shines on this city for one of the world’s leading art fairs, attracting 70,000+ collectors, cultural leaders, artists and media influencers from around the world, and will remain on view through January 5.

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The exhibition presents the work of openly LGBTQ artists alongside other artists who also engaged with the emerging queer subcultures, between 1969 and 1989. The Stonewall Riots are considered a historic flash-point for the LGBTQ movement, and the first two decades of art-making that immediately followed the uprising have never been explored this way before.

The list of artists includes: Vito Acconci, Laura Aguilar, Diane Arbus, Lyle Ashton Harris, Judith F. Baca, Don Bachardy, Lynda Benglis, JEB (Joan E. Biren), Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Arch Connelly, Tee A. Corinne, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Karen Finley, Louise Fishman, Nan Goldin, Michela Griffo, Sunil Gupta, Barbara Hammer, Harmony Hammond, Keith Haring, David Hockney, Peter Hujar, Holly Hughes, Tseng Kwong Chi, Greer Lankton, Annie Leibovitz, Christopher Makos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Frank Moore, Alice Neel, Catherine Opie, Jack Pierson, Marlon T. Riggs, Jack Smith, Joan Snyder, Carmelita Tropicana, Andy Warhol, and David Wojnarowicz, among others.

Although much has been written on the impact of the LGBTQ movement on American society, fifty years after Stonewall many key artists are still relatively unknown and are brought to light.

Ann Patricia Meredith, Lesbian Physique, Gay Games II / Triumph in ’86 San Francisco, CA, 1986, from the series A Different Drummer, 1970-1990, silver gelatin print

Some of the artists included in Art After Stonewall lived in Miami and created art here between 1969-1989, including Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Martin Kreloff. The work by Gonzalez-Torres also confronted the AIDS crisis: a haunting billboard created by the artist in 1989 that ran for six months above the site of the Stonewall, informing viewers along NY’s busy Seventh Avenue about the need for activism.

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The work by Kreloff featured in the show is the poster for the very first White Party fundraiser for AIDS, held in Miami in 1985.  

Keith Haring, October 20, 1985, acrylic on canvas tarp

The history-making idea for the White Party AIDS fundraiser was hatched by Kreloff and friends in Miami, and became an inspiration for communities nationwide to raise much-needed funds to help those suffering from the epidemic.

Scholars today recognize that just like New York’s Stonewall Riots, Miami was also ground-zero to an equally significant chapter in the LGBTQ civil rights movement, and this is also represented in the exhibition. In 1977, Anita Bryant led her notorious campaign to overturn a Miami-Dade County ordinance that banned discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Diana Davies, Gay Rights Demonstration, Albany, NY, 1971, 1971. Digital print.
Photo by Diana Davies / © The New York Public Library/Art Resource, NY

This sparked a turning point for the movement that experts in the fields of civil rights and LGBTQ studies emphasize as equally important to Stonewall. 

It was the first time the national media covered LGBTQ rights in this way. The story about Bryant’s crusade in Miami was the cover of TIME and Newsweek magazines, made headlines in newspapers across the country and on network television news. Before this Miami political battle to protect LGBTQ rights from Anita Bryant’s crusade, no other LGBTQ news event had been covered in the US then. This mobilized activists in cities and towns nationwide. A major component of the activism against Bryant’s campaign featured creative advertising, posters and graphic art. 

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Now, 42 years after the Anita Bryant crusade, things have changed in Miami. The museum has received a groundswell of community support to bring this exhibition to South Florida. This exhibition has been made possible at the Frost Art Museum FIU by Bank of America and the Funding Arts Network. Additional support has been generously provided by Our Fund, an LGBT Community Foundation, and the Art after Stonewall Circle of Friends.  

Peter Hujar, Gay Liberation Front, Come Out, 1970, offset lithograph, © 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC, collection of Flavia Rando, image courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

At the national level, major support for the exhibition is provided by: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Keith Haring Foundation, Inc. Additional support provided by Jeff Chaddock & Mark Morrow; Envisage Wealth; Tom W. Davis; Equitas Health; Prizm; Lynn Greer & Stevie Walton & the Women’s Collective; John & Michaella Havens and Parker Havens & Dean Panik, in honor of Barbara Havens; D. Scott Owens & Kevin Kowalski; Harlan Robins & Shawn Shear; Dickinson Wright PLLC; and John L. Wirchanski. The show is accompanied by a 300-page catalogue with essays by more than 20 established and emerging scholars as well as entries by artists, including FIU’s very own Alpesh Patel.

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Travel

4 Ways to travel to Kansas in style

Traveling is more than an action; it is also an experience that should go down in the books. For this reason, it should be stamped with your uniqueness and personal style.

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Traveling is something that is unique to each person. The way that they plan for and experience their trip is likely different from the way another person would. One of the reasons is because everyone has their own personality and style. Traveling is more than an action; it is also an experience that should go down in the books. For this reason, it should be stamped with your uniqueness and personal style.

If you need tips on how you can travel in style next time you’re heading over to Kansas whether for business or work, carry on reading below.

1. Dress Stylishly

Everyone has a different way they like to dress when headed to the airport. For some people, comfort is the most important thing; while for others, it’s about being stylish. The good news is that you can do both and don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. One practical demonstration of stylish and comfortable would be to wear leggings and a loose fitted top. You could also go for paper bag waist Bermuda shorts and a shirt. The goal should be to wear clothes that make you feel free but aren’t boring.

Also, note that since you’re headed to Kansas, you want to bring along a mix of smart and casual clothes. Whether you’ll be going to one of the museums or visiting a bar, the goal is to look good and stand out.

For some people, comfort is the most important thing; while for others, it’s about being stylish.

2. Buy Nice Luggage

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The luggage you carry can also make for more stylish traveling, so choose wisely. If your goal is to stand out in luggage claim, then perhaps get an A22 carry-on luggage as it’s high-gloss and has GPS technology to help you weigh your bag.

In addition to this, a nice accessory to carry along is an in-flight wash bag so that you don’t have to empty your cosmetics into a clear plastic bag when you’re passing through airport security.

The luggage you carry can also make for more stylish traveling, so choose wisely.

3. Take a Chartered Flight

How you choose to travel is usually down to factors such as your budget and preferences. If you’ve ever flown on a private jet, before then, you know that it can be a luxurious experience as well as the ultimate way to fly in style. You can charter flights to go just about anywhere whether it’s a national or international destination. If you’re unsure about how much it’s going to cost you, it’s possible to get instant quotes online.

You can charter flights to go just about anywhere whether it’s a national or international destination.

4. Take the Right Accessories

Following on from the last point, accessories are a great way to make yourself look more stylish when traveling too. Instead of taking along old school earphones, why not invest in a pair of air pods or wireless headphones? Some of the best noise canceling earphones for 2019 is The Mid A.N.C. or the Samsung AKG N700NC Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones.

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Aside from earphones, another travel accessory to consider is a cashmere and silk wrap. Seeing as the airport and plane tend to get a little cold, it makes a great accessory to keep you warm and comfortable. Lastly, the Apple iPad 9.7-inch is a great way to stay entertained while waiting and flying.

Accessories are a great way to make yourself look more stylish when traveling too.

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Travel

Ecuador passes same-sex marriage

With the decision by the Constitutional Court, Ecuador joins a handful of Latin American nations – including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay – that have legalized same-sex marriage either through judicial rulings, or less frequently, legislative action.

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Photo by fernandozhiminaicela from Pixabay.com

Ecuador became the latest country to allow same-sex marriage, with five of nine judges in the country’s top court ruling in favor of two gay couples who sued after their request to be married was denied by the country’s civil registry.

With the decision by the Constitutional Court, Ecuador joins a handful of Latin American nations – including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay – that have legalized same-sex marriage either through judicial rulings, or less frequently, legislative action.

Also with this development, the Latin American nation is now the 27th country to allow same-sex marriage.

In Asia, still only Taiwan became the first territory in Asia to pass same-sex marriage.

There are still 68 nations where homosexual relations are illegal.


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